Camembert Cheese; Everything You Need To Know
Image Credit: Unsplash

Camembert is a French cheese with a bloomy white rind and a soft, slightly runny interior that ripens first near the rind. It has a moderate fat content and is high in protein, calcium, and phosphorous, as well as vitamins A and B.

French cheese called Camembert has its roots in Normandy. It's made from cow's milk and has a soft, ripened, and creamy texture, as well as an edible white mould rind that's considered a delicacy. Camembert has a mushroomy, eggy, garlicky, nutty, milky, grassy, and/or fruity flavour. It is widely available and reasonably priced in well-stocked supermarkets and speciality stores.

How Is Camembert Cheese Different To Brie Cheese?

Because of their similarities, Camembert and Brie are frequently grouped together. They can be used interchangeably and are frequently confused. Both kinds of cheese are made from cow's milk and have soft, bloomy, edible rinds. They originated in northern France. Brie has a milder flavour with buttery, creamy notes, whereas Camembert can have a more intense flavour with deeper earthy notes. Camembert and brie have similar textures, with Camembert being denser and brie being runnier.

The method used by cheesemakers to make Camembert is similar to that used to make brie. The addition of cream to brie, however, gives it a higher milk fat percentage and creamier texture than Camembert. Brie contains 60% milk fat, while Camembert contains 45%.

Another distinction is the number of times the lactic starter is added to the cheese during the manufacturing process. Brie is only introduced once at the beginning, whereas Camembert is added five times during the cheese-making process, contributing to its stronger flavour.

How Is Camembert Cheese Made?

Camembert can be made with either pasteurised or raw cow's milk. Before curdling, the milk is mixed with a yeast culture to allow the culture to spread and promote the development of the rind. Once formed, the curds are cut, poured into moulds, drained of whey, and brined. The cheese is aged for at least four weeks on shelves and is turned on a regular basis to ensure that the mould grows evenly from the inside out while developing a creamy centre. The longer the cheese ages, the softer the texture and the stronger the flavour.

In addition to brie, Saint-André, Brillat-Savarin, or Mt. Tam are suitable Camembert alternatives since they are creamy, soft-ripened cheeses with bloomy rinds.

How To Use Camembert Cheese?

Camembert is a great complement to cheese platters and tastes best when served at room temperature with crackers, fruit, nuts, and slices of bread. When baked, Camembert will have a little stronger flavour than baked brie, whether it is covered in pastry or not. Slices or chunks of Camembert can be melted and added to gratins, casseroles, sauces, sandwiches, pizzas, and flatbreads.

 What’s The Proper Way To Store Camembert Cheese?

Camembert should be stored in its original packaging until ready to use. Then, remove the cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for the best flavour and texture. Wrap in the original wrapping or wax paper after opening, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap or foil for up to two weeks. 

Examine the cheese before eating it. The rind should be clean and white, and the disc should be plump and firm in its container or box. Look for wet, slimy, or brown spots, as well as a withered texture.

Camembert can also be stored in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze, tightly wrap the wedges in plastic wrap or foil and place them in zip-top bags with all of the air squeezed out. Allow the cheese to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using it within two days. The consistency of the cheese may be slightly affected by freezing, so it is best suited to cooked dishes.

Is Camembert Cheese Rind Edible?

You can eat the rind, which is both delicious and considered a delicacy. The rind complements the cheese well, being sweet and pillowy soft. Camembert's soft texture is due to the rind. The rind breaks down the cheese's fats and proteins, resulting in an increasingly creamy to runny texture over time.